J.D. Phillips



"Can a conscious man ever respect himself, even a little?"—Dostoyevsky.


“I am currently on probation as I bask in the glare of my colleague’s world-alienating pedantry.”

—A Form of Words, Paul Batchelor.


On using tapes to call in birds, Birding, November 2012. This essay launched a raucous and lengthy exchange, not all of it of embarrassingly low quality, on the ABA’s blog, which you may find here.


On Self-Delusion and Unimaginable Beauty: a Mathematician's Reveries from the Margins, the 28th LaFollette lecture, Wabash College, October 19, 2007.


What Does Tuition Actually Buy? brief remarks delivered to the Wabash College faculty at "The Way I See It" forum, on March 21, 2007.

Remarks to My Colleagues on collegiality and campus climate, in the form of a motion to the faculty about end-of-semester classroom policies, delivered to the Wabash College faculty on December 4, 2006, and January 15, 2007.

An Amazon Dialogue, Wabash Magazine, Fall, 2006.

It's Just a Seminar; Don't Whip Your DIC Out! written under the pseudonym D. Ignatius Cobb, The Caveman, April, 2006.

An Alternate Vision, delivered to the Wabash College Cultures and Traditions (our core course) faculty, February 28, 2006.

Your Father is a Better Man Than You Are, Right?, Chapel Talk, Wabash College, December 8, 2005.

A Cascade of Light, Wabash Magazine, Winter, 2005, reprinted in Birding, November–December 2007.

Between Anger and Piety: How to Field Dress an Antelope, Chapel Talk, Wabash College, March 17, 2005.

Eros and Thymos, Failure and Success, plenary address, 3rd Colloquium on the Didactics of Mathematics, University of Rethymnon, Crete, April 18, 2003.

On Wounds and Healing, Wabash Magazine, 2003, reprinted in Liberal Arts Online, 2003.

On Blindness (.pdf file), written under the pseudonym Lemme B. Bourbaki, Mathematical Intelligencer, (21) 1 (1999) 4–5.

Mathematics as an Aesthetic Discipline; a Manifesto, Educational Perspectives, XI, 1, (1993),  45–49, Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal, 12, October 1995, 17–21, and The Australian Mathematics Teacher, 52 (2), (1996), 28–32, reprinted on request from editors (as “Aesthetic mathematics”).

On Giddy Happiness, Speech to Dean's List students, Saint Mary's College of California, September 27, 1996.

From Warsaw to Prague, Via Lodz, zamisdat.